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Drunk of the Week

Pearl Street Grill

Every day, it becomes increasingly obvious that those in power count on citizen apathy to let them skate by with policies that pander to special interests and are out of touch with the average American. How else can you explain the continued presence of Katie Couric and Oprah; 24-hour news channels; stoplights on Sixth Avenue and other Denver streets that aren't even located at intersections and whose sole purpose is to guarantee the erratic flow of traffic; reality TV; lawyers and law students; those high-and-mighty "Truth" anti-smoking ads; the wholly inexplicable new United Airlines cartoon commercials; and, above all, mass-produced American "beer." The political arena has become such a joke that only The Daily Show With Jon Stewart offers an accurate analysis of the circus.

This madness stretches to the Rocky Mountains, where another recent slap to democracy inspired me to renew my call for the impeachment of Mayor John Hickenlooper.

We hit the Pearl Street Grill (1477 South Pearl Street), one of the mayor's drinking establishments, expecting a pleasant evening out with a subsequent morning of asking ourselves what the hell we were thinking. In order to enjoy the nice weather on the crowded patio out back, customers had to first prove themselves worthy by sitting at the bar for over an hour without falling off their stools. On one of my innumerable trips to the boys' room during this trial, I saw something that made me think I'd found my new, all-time favorite bar: a large, mirrored beer sign touting John Courage Amber Premium Beer.

Not only does John Courage -- which is brewed by the Courage Brewery in Edinburgh, Scotland -- have the coolest name ever for a beer, but it's by far the best beer out there. When I lived in Texas, where J.C. is unavailable, United Airlines and I carted at least a case back on every return trip from Denver. Besides allowing me to replenish my stash at home, this always ensured plenty of space on the plane, because no one wanted to sit near such a brazen lush. John Courage was one of the main reasons I decided to move back here, even though only a few liquor stores in town carry it and I know of only one bar that stocks it. So seeing this ad was like watching the skies part as angels descended from heaven to anoint those of us who like really good beer.

As excited as I've been in quite some time, I hustled back to the bar, sat down on my stool and politely asked, "May I have a John Courage, please?"

"A what?"

Flustered, I restated my request to the confused bartender, finally embellishing it with, "You know, the beer. From Scotland? The sign on the back wall!?" To which he could only reply, "I think that's just a sign, man."

I was outraged! My dismay was as great as when my team gives up a cheap hit in the ninth to ruin a perfect game. I was ready to forgo spending any other money in Mr. Hickenlooper's establishment, but I had already knocked back enough brews that I required some good fish and chips and half of my girlfriend's meatloaf to absorb the beer already on board.

You expect this kind of nonsense from our national leaders, and it's easy to be indifferent to them, because nothing ever gets done in Washington, anyway: Everyone's too busy seeing who can sleep with the most questionable people. This is why term limits are so unpopular. But you don't expect such insanity in Denver, not when it's led by a man who obviously likes his beer. I think this city's citizens should call for a blue-ribbon (not Pabst) panel to investigate Hickenlooper's lack of liquid Courage. But let's appoint Michael Moore and University of Colorado president Betsy Hoffman to head it, just to make sure that nothing really drastic happens. At least, not until I've had my turn on the Pearl Street Grill's patio.

 
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